The Cost of Being an Indie Author-WHY INDIES ROCK!

Today I am on tour. That’s right.  A blog tour!  I am part of a movement of Independent Authors, who, you guessed it: ROCK!
Why Indies Rock (Cover)Everyday from November 1st to December 20th a different indie author is charged with blogging to the world why they think Indie Authors Rock.

So, why DO Indie Authors Rock?  ‘Cause we do it all ON OUR OWN!   People rage against Indie Authors as being lazy or not having work good enough to get traditionally publish. To those people I give you the bird.  Yes that’s right. The bird.

What?  It's a bird!
What? It’s a bird!

Being an Indie Author is one of the hardest and most expensive things I have ever done. (And I have done a lot.) It’s not enough to try and WRITE a novel, while working full time and tending to children and a house. No, we also have to PAY for everything.

Editing Costs: $50 bucks an hour, or about $500 bucks, give or take.

Cover Costs: $50 bucks for a stock image that, if you use, someone will say you copied another person and YOU’LL get labeled as being unoriginal, (THAT’S ME AND MY COVER!) or $550 for a Graphic Designer to do it for you. (I don’t have that, hence stock image.)

SWAG: You know, all that free stuff we give away hoping you’ll buy our book?  That stuff costs us money!  Yeah, who knew?  Bookmarks, business cards, stickers…they cost a lot!

Books: As if all of that isn’t bad enough we still have to buy our OWN copies of our book to try to sell to you!  (And you wonder why so many indie authors don’t bother with paperbacks!)

But the biggest reason we rock, is because doing all of crap and a half a dozen other things I didn’t list, is the TIME we put into doing it all and the time it forces us AWAY from writing.

So the next time you leave a review for an Indie Author and slam them for poor editing, or unoriginal cover, please consider how much of our own money and time we put into our work all because we want you to love it as much as we do.

Want to help an Indie Writer?  Buy their books. ( We sell them cheap so you can read them. TRUST ME, we don’t make squat on them.) Then,  read them.  Leave a helpful review.  Post on their blogs, share and join their pages.  After all, we’re busting our butts for you, dear readers.

Danielle Bannister

Author of Pulled

and Short Shorts

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. All too true, and we make meager wages to boot! It takes a lot to work on this dream, and not many are as successful as they would like to be. I can’t say I’m quite as deserving though, being that I have never paid for editing and self-edit my work. Yes I have had some complaints and I suppose it’s being “lazy” in a way, but I’m living at my parents right now and battling horrid health conditions, so I don’t have much many (if at all) to spend on services. I’m slowly learning to see writing as a process and I deeply value honest feedback from readers, good or bad. They really do help me improve, so I’m thankful for anyone who actually reads my books even if some do give them a low rating.

    As for my book covers, I must confess pirating a copy of Adobe CS4 from a friend some while back, and I’ve found a whole ton of free Photoshop brushes to assist in making my own book covers. They turn out gorgeous for my purposes, and I spend time on them to the point of obsession and just recently got the idea to start my own online business in the near future geared toward affordable book cover art for indie authors =) I also produce electronic music as well which I use in my book trailers, so I’m thinking of offering a few original tunes for sale if anyone needs them for that purpose too. Neither service would cost more than $40 a piece depending on size because I can barely afford anything myself so I understand it’s hard for others.

    I’ve only spent money on a Goodreads ad which I put in $15 for and it’s been running since May…they take out 10 cents per click, so it’s not really helping. I kinda suck at promotion and don’t spend a lot of time on the “social networking” thing because either I find it somewhat pointless or I just need to spend more time actually writing. As they say, the best advertising you can do is putting more of your work out there!

    Great post and I’m glad I found your blog. I gave you a follow.

    Cheers (and happy holidays!) =)

    – Pete

    1. Pete, those who don’t write don’t get all the other ‘non-writing’ stuff it takes to make a name for yourself. I’m not one to market myself either, so that has been the hardest part of this whole thing, learning to be your own marketing director!

      Sorry to learn of health issues. I have a few of my own. Doesn’t help the writing process, does it?

      Just keep writing. Just keep writing. (sung as Dory from Finding Nemo) 🙂

  2. Sheryl Dunn says:

    For book covers, try 99designs.com…you can get a great cover for $200 or $250, provided you know a bit about good cover design when choosing the designs.

    1. I haven’t tried that site, yet another thing to research, one of these days! ha

  3. Ia Uaro says:

    So true Danielle, great article. Those expenses, but the most expensive is the time taken away from my young kids – because we’re always together but very often I’m not with them even when we’re in the same room – so I’ll keep on writing, but I can’t afford to be a militant writer… yet.
    Good luck with this tour!

    Pete, let’s try Shelfari, ’cause we can and ’cause it is free 🙂 I’m new there – another ABNAer says it works.

    1. Shelfari… more research I see. I need an assistant.

  4. Amy Miles says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Danielle. The people who blast indie authors for stock photo covers or typos are the ones that have no clue what it takes to create a book. Does that mean we should use this as an excuse for presenting poorly written work? Of course not, but the fact is, most indie authors are in it for the right reason. They are trying to do the most with what they have. Shame more people don’t realize that.
    Indie authors spent countless hours and their hard earned money to produce a book that is entertaining. Malicious reviews hurt authors, both in sales and emotions. I wish readers would stop and think before they write. The name on a book cover represents someone with feelings. Just saying 🙂

  5. I am a writer, and not yet published, but very curious about the differences between Indie Authors and those who are not. If it is so much work and you don’t make much money, what are the benefits of going Indie? I am new to the whole world of publishing so still trying to figure this all out . Thanks!

    1. One of the major benefits is control. Getting traditionally published is not an easy goal. If you go that route, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before sending out your queries! If you opt to go on your own, at the very least, hire an editor, that’s the one thing I can advise hands down. But when you go indie, you set your own schedule and agenda. Best advise, read as much as you can about the pros and cons of publishing. Only you can decide what’s best for you. Much luck and welcome to the writing world!!

      1. Thanks Danielle! I appreciate the advice!

  6. Stacy Dixon says:

    I appreciate the hard work authors put forth to tell a story. Reading is by far my most favorite hobby and I love getting lost in a great story. I was completely unaware of the costs involved by indie authors. It just makes me appreciate your hard work all that much more.

    1. You, Stacy, are why we write. For those avid readers. 🙂

  7. OMG!! You literally took the words right out of every indie authors mouth. GREAT post! Love the bird by the way. HA!

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